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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  March 28, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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on the humanitarian disaster, which they think they averted by this military action, especially around benghazi. there's of course lots of talk about how things have developed, how quickly not just in terms of the military action but things on the ground, the movement of the rebels toward tripoli again and of course nato takingendgep diict r ewhehoe. t qstn tega. secretary clinton, meanwhile, is heading to london to meet with 28, a total of 28, representatives from countries around the world. >> reporter: there is a lot of attention here in terms of what the coalition is going to be doing and what they can contribute here. but the coalition seems to be growing. there are concerns, though, most recently from the turkish prime minister, this becomes drawn out and there you have a real overlap between some of the international concerns about a prolonged engagement and what we're hearing in washington. people do not want to see this
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drag on, but again very hard for the white house to see how this will end when things are developing so quickly. >> the key meeting for tuesday as it's slated right now. richard, thank you for that. meanwhile, the president has good news to report on libya with nato agreeing to take over the no-fly zone as richard intimated there, as well as the overall operations just within the next coming days. and the rebels are making up ground thanks to these attacks. there's hope on the ground that anti-gadhafi forces could reach tripoli within the next few weeks. jim is live in tripoli where rebels are moving toward sirte, that's gadhafi's hometown. i guess we talked about this jim, is this symbolic or a key strategic stronghold for the rebels? >> reporter: well, it's both symbolic and strategic. there's no question that the rebels would be happy to take this town. the rebels according to our latest calculation are about 50 to 70 miles east of sirte, that would put them about 300-plus
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miles from tripoli. taking sirte would be huge strategically because it's the last stronghold, line of defense, before tripoli. there's a major air base there, the headquarters for one of -- special bury grades run by one of gadhafi's sons. we were there a couple of weeks ago and saw dozens upon dozens planes and choppers both in concrete bunkers and concrete hangars above ground. gadhafi's invested millions upon millions of dollars in sirte, his main tribe is there. they rule supreme. and he's really turned it into a second capital of libya. symbolically, it's gadhafi's birthplace. taking it are difficult. entrances to the city, the air base, are heavily mined. some of the reports -- today are saying that bands of pro-gadhafi
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militiamen or fighters are roaming the streets, aks bristling. they are ready to do battle with anyone who tempts them to do so. the big question, richard, of course, and you alluded to this earlier, what do the nato war planes do, do they tyke out gadhafi tanks and troops? if they do that, in what name? protecting civilians? in sirte, the civilians are protected by gadhafi. back to you. >> jim, thank you. we had a couple of technical difficulties with that connection. gruesome new details about a group of rogue u.s. soldiers on trial for murdering afghan civilians. "rolling stone" magazine publishing photos taken by a tank unit who call themselves the kill team. the shocking pictures you sigh here show the soldiers posing next to their kill, allegedly innocent and defenseless afghans. m mick, the pentagon trying to keep these pictures from the
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light of day. what's your reaction? >> the reality here is that the u.s. military, the army, first came upon this story almost a year ago when one of the soldiers of that so-called rogue squad there in afghanistan reported the fact that some of the soldiers in the unit had allegedly killed innocent afghan civilians. and in the course of that investigation, it was army investigators who actually uncovered 4,000 photos taken by soldiers. the vast majority of them happy snaps as you would see as if you were on vacation somewhere, but there were about 100, 120 or so showing dead bodies there in afghanistan, totally against afghanistan regulation. but the most egregious part about allegations against some of these soldiers is not the fact they took photos, but that at least five of them allegedly killed three afghan civilians. ldased ho tateth olere of those
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w, t bigquti hrei llhe otha a cksh against american forces in afghanistan? so far, according to u.s. military officials who nbc asked about this last week, they said they see no evidence of any backlash so far. and our own producer courtney kuby asked a provisional governor there in afghanistan last week whether the afghan people were angered by this, and that governor said, you know, this is a slightly different case because the u.s. military has already apologized for it, prosecuted some of those involved, and sent one of them to prison. so it appears that, despite the horrific nature of these photos, hopefully it will have no longlasting effect in terms of the relationship between afghan civilians and americans in afghanistan. >> some memories there of abu
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ghraib. >> absolutely. >> jim, appreciate it. democrats and republicans on capitol hill will keep a close eye on the president's speech tonight. we'll be watching that. there are still plenty of questions in congress about what the plan for our military operation for libya is going forward. senator benned cardin, a member of the foreign releases committee, hedowns us. thanks for joining us today. i want to go back to what richard was saying at the white house, stalking about the endgame. what's your thought on that? what's the endgame in libya? >> i think the endgame is a safe environment for the civilian population in libya. we want to stop gadhafi's ability to inflict the types of damage to his own civilian population. that's the clear objective. >> now, robert gates was sayin libya is not in our vital interest. if that's the case, what's the criteria for entering libya but
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not bahrain or others. >> the united security council passed resolution. we have support from arab states. there's clearly an international will to do something about what gadhafi has done to his own population. i think you've got to look at the extent of the harm being done domestically in libya versus the other countries and the ability of the international community to come together. >> so if the same criteria were fulfilled, if they were met in other countries in the arab world, you are saying you would support more military action from the united states? >> well, as i said, it has to be international. i think the united states has already maetd an incredible commitment in the middle east. it's time for our countries to step up and take on the major responsibility. we're looking for other countries and we have that with the nato command now in libya. but it's clear that the united states needs to back off and let other countries take the lead in many of these operations. >> senator cardin, i know that you probably have seen those pictures of the "rolling stones"
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published, disturbing many folks. it was reported of an american what they're calling kill teams. we were just talking about that with jim miklaszewski. how hard will this make for the mission going forward? how hard will it make them having success, winning over the hearts and minds as we look forward? >> well, these allegations are horrible, as been reported, but i think the point that the united states brought this to the attention, that the military's pursuing accountability of those who were allegedly involved, and that the united states brought this issue forward will help us in regards to the international community's response to what happened. >> i want to move to what the president will say tonight and what you might expect him to say. as you know, krcriticism on bot sides of the aisle. what do you expect the president to say to satisfy the critics? >> i think the president will have a chance to explain to the american people the reason why
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the united states has joined the international community, that we have responsibilities. but that we have strong international support, that we have an endgame here, that this is not going to be an open-ended commitment of american soldiers, that we have a clear objective and that we believe we can accomplish that objective, that the early signs have been favorable. i expect that you'll see the president point out that here's a clear example of the international community responding and the united states being part of that international effort in order to stop the killing of innocent civilians in libya. >> senator cardin, i've got the press release on your web site that you had released ten days mm from the united states and what it's doing with the no-fly zone. has that changed, evolved at all, after what you've seen happen? >> no. what i said is it needed to be international and other countries need to step forward. the entire burden cannot be on the u.s., soldiers and
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taxpayers. so far the president got international support and other countries are stepping forward. that's what we needed to see. >> is anything short here of 100% clearly defined description of what we are doing in libya and operation there and the exit strategy specifically? anything short of that, is that acceptable to you? >> well, i mean, i think the president has to lay out the strategies here. he has to explain to the american people why we are joining the international community and, yes, he has to explain what the endgame is about. there's been at least some confusion as to whether this is regime change or not. i think the president will be very clear tonight to say this is not about regime change. it's about protecting civilian population in libya. >> let's talk about another major issue that you're having to face and debate on the hill, that is the budget. we've had these short-term extensions that have been passed or discussed. is there enough political will here with leader boehner, leader reid to get this done? >> i think so. i think we need to get this
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done. this is not an option. we have to have a budget for this year. i think all of us are tired of these short-term continuing budget that's we want to see a budget through september 30 of this year. then get on to deal with the budget for next fiscal year and deal with our debt ceiling. so i think there is a clear indication that we don't want to see any more short-term extensions, that we want a budget done. i think that's true from both the house and senate point of view. >> 11 days to go. thank you so much, senator. also moving to new fears in japan today as a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook the region and triggered another tsunami alert there. the ground shaking alert extends to the crippled fukushima nuclear plant where experts are now saying they have found traces of plutonium in soil at that site. despite this, some people who live near the plant are now trying to return to their homes. disregarding government warnings about health risks in the evacuation zone. at the same time, the country's nuclear safety agency is
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rejecting a plea from green peace to expand the zone we were showing you after radiation was detected miles beyond it. meanwhile, in the belly of the fukushima plant, we watched that, radioactive water continues to build up there. the levels now measuring 100,000 times higher than normal, forcing workers now trying to control that situation to flee. nbc's lee cowan has the latest from too about what's being done about that walter. lee? >> reporter: morning, richard. it is all about the water, that water not only that's been flooding some of the buildings of the facility itself but also now we're told there's radio active water that's seeped into tunnels that are adjacent to those buildings and filling those tunnels up as well. the radioactive levels there are high, dangerously high. in one of the pools it's 100,000 times higher than it should be. the big question now is what to did with all that radioactive water. they're trying to pump it out, some success in unit one.
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go bring some external tanks or figure out some other way to get the water out. it's all crucial because, until they get those areas almost bone-dry, there's no way workers can go in and figure out exactly what is causing the radioactive leak, where it's coming from, and repair it. because, remember, as all of this is going on, they continue to have to pour more and more water on the reactors to keep them cool. so they're trying to do two things at once, both of them at odds with one another. and obviously the more complications that we've seen over the last couple of days are just making for one setback after another. that's the latest unfortunately here in tokyo. richard, back to you. >> so much to worry about there, lee, as they now use the words "partial melt joup". the largest class action suit is headed to the supreme court. why 1.5 million women claim retail giant walmart discriminated against them. 
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the supreme court will take up a case tomorrow, perhaps the largest class action lawsuit ever. six women are accusing walmart of discrimination and the 1 million women who have worked for walmart since 1998. if the high court permits the class action suit, it could trigger more massive lawsuits just like it, charging big corporations of sexism. paul rothstein is a constitutional law professor at georgetown. thanks for joining us. let me start with this. we're talking about six women. could they stand for that 1.5 million women that have worked for walmart, this six representing that large group? >> that's the question that's before the supreme court, whether they would all have issues, enough in common, that it makes sense to try them all together. were they all subject to the same wrong, the same discrimination, or were their
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situations very different so it would make more sense to have a trial for each of them separately. of course, if each of them has to try the case separately, the case may never go forward because most of them don't have at stake here more than $1,000 or so, and it would require a lot of money to get a separate lawyer. but when you aggregate it together, that is a lot of money and that may be the only remedy they have. the supreme court is not going to decide in this case whether there was discrimination. they're just going to decide whether it makes sense to pursue this case as a large group representing these million women or whether there have to be individual claimants or individual smaller groups of claimants. >> has it met the burden of a class action suit. that's what they'll be deciding on. >> that's correct.emoysgisr jey q ao having meetings at strip clubs.
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this is what the six women are saying. will this somehow pull on the three female supreme court justices, given their individual fights for equalitiy in their past? >> i think so. i think particularly justice ruth bader ginsburg who sent her life fighting for women's rights before coming to the court. i think that who you are on the supreme court does have something to do with how you rule. because the standards of the law are flexible enough that it does call into account and into play personal judgments. >> let's take a look at some statistics, vis-a-vis the subject we're talking about, equal pay is what we're talking about. it doesn't look good. according to the u.s. labor department, the latest report shows across all occupations women just make 81% of what men make. so could this case change that? >> well, yes, at least it could be a big step on the road to doing that. it's the biggest discrimination suit of this kind ever, and if
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it goes forward and if it succeeds at the many steps yet to come, yes, it could be a big step in changing that. the case itself will proceed somewhat statistically with statistics because they'll have to show that women are being treated badly and it's not just that they weren't as good employees. >> right. professor, i'm sorry to interrupt you, but you brought up the issue of statistics. will cases then going forward be affected by statistics more than before, based on this case as it really looking at statisticians' results? >> well, what this case could determine is that the role of statistics and socialology. there's a socialology professor that wants to testify, too. the claimants have to show it's a policy emanating from the central walmart that caused the discrimination everywhere, and so there's a sociologist about
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corporate picture. it will break some paths, yes, in statistical evidence and socialology, the statistics will show that it's not just these individual women maybe weren't performing as well as men but that, if you look at all women statistically, they were doing pay poorer than men in walmart and that it's unlikely that that could be accounted for by them all performing less well than men. >> right. so, professor, of course as we look at this, its effect, based on the statistics and that model being used for other businesses and other cases, is the situation that might concern some, those in the corporate world, at least. paul rothstein, thank you so much. as congress returns, all eyes are on a budget deal. how close are we to seeing a government shutdown?
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very good die to you. i'm richard lu i in for thomas roberts. unrest spreads to yemen eroury tt enha scdeisr sdown by greer year's end as militant opposition gains power. president ali abdullah saleh goes against the united states and british ambassador. some syria, reports of tear gas being fired on the thousands of antigovernment protestors there, it follows comments from secretary of state hillary clinton who ruled out u.s. involvement in syria. then the pace of consumer spending picking up in february, the largest jump in four months. a big part of increase went for paying for gas unfortunately. while pumping more money into the economy is a good thing, economists are concern about the rise in energy costs as we head into summer, the peak driving season when we normally see a spike in the energy prices. now new york state has
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worked out a budget compromise that could set an example for embattled states around the country, not to mention the federal government, which might be headed for a shutdown next week. governor andrew cuomo struck a deal yesterday on $132.5 million plan that trims spending by 2% without any major new taxes. they called it a kill team. while its members now face criminal charges, here at home, the worldwide reaction over the disturbing images is growing. president obama speaking tonight about why taking action in libya is in this country's essential interest. up next, the full plate, that is the obama agenda.
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>> the clock is ticking on capitol hill as another government shutdown looms around the corner. the house is back tomorrow, senate reconvenes today. in order to keep the lights on, they need to reach a deal about funding the government by april 8th, 11 days to go.
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joining me is luke russert who's got his egg timer out for these guys. >> reporter: richard, this is quite an interesting 11 days, the clock really is ticking. what we hear from white house sources is there's possibly a compromise proposal of around $20 billion in additional cuts for the rest of fiscal 2011 on top of the $10 billion that has been cut from the government. house republicans want to cut $61 billion frommed current fiscal year. we're unclear what senate democrats would allow them stfls to do. however, it looks like now you could see this compromise number around $20 billion to $25 billion. i am told on top of that 10 billion that obviously comes to around 30 billion. what's the irony about that, richard? back in february when the house gop leadership unveiled how much they wanted to cut from the budget it was that $30 billion number. it was deemed too much by democrats, too little by tea party conservatives. now it looks like that could be the number in fact that will be hit. now there are a few obstacles in
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the way, specifically a lot of outcry from tea party-backed conservative activists. they're planning a rally on capitol hill this thursday released a statement saying meshes of congress are passing continuiing resolutions. they are quite a force leaders will have to deal with in order to coming to compromise. they are shall we satisfy wary compromising with the democrats or white house. they'll want to push the number above $30 billion. it's unclear whether that will be agreed to. >> thank you, luke. while the budget is in every member's mind right now, the conflict in libya will hold the spotlight this evening. president obama is getting ready to tell the nation exactly why we are in this conflict and hopefully give concrete answers on our strategy to combat colonel gadhafi's forces in the weeks ahead. congressman adam smith is the ranking member of the house
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armed services committee. congressman, thanks for joining us today. >> thank you. >> i want to start with this. you were on the call with president obama regarding libya. did he discuss at all on that call his communication strategy, when he would speak to voters, to americans? >> no, he did not. obviously that's going to happen this evening, but the main purpose of that call was to get all members of congress up-to-date on what the plan was, what the initial goal, which has been stated, to protect the civilian population from gadhafi's forces and answer any questions that members of congress had to hopefully get them more clear on the mission and where it's going. he didn't talk about when he would speak, but obviously that's this evening. >> congressman you've been clear saying the mission is not about getting gadhafi out. why is it you think some americans and lawmakers are ngwe cfud, d't kn t jeivre tnkerestin thdierceen miry mission and the broader diplomatic mission. i think both secretary clinton and secretary gates have explained that very clearly this
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past weekend. look, in the short term, what can the military accomplish? the military can stop gadhafi's forces from slaughtering civilians. that's what they've done over the course of the last week. then you take it the next step and say, do we want a full-scale invasion where we militarily go in and try to overthrow gadhafi? the complications and the potential for greater civilian casualties in that type of military mission are enormous. but as secretary clint p has said, that's not the only tool we have to drive gadhafi from power. yes, we want him out. no, we don't want to do it at the enormous cost of military invasion. so we're increasing diplomatic pressure, increasing economic pressure. i have heard they're trying to work back channels with talking to members of the libyan military if they can open them up, who are interested at this point in something more peaceful than backing gadhafi. there's a number of different options to drive him from power short of the type of military invasion where the costs would outweigh the benefits. >> listening to the details, i guess what you're alluding to.
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i want to play sound here from senator lieberman. >> if assad does what gadhafi was doing, which is to threaten to go house to house and kill anybody not on his side, there's a precedent now that the world community has set in libya and it's the right one. we're not going to stand by and allow this assad to slaughter his people like his father did years ago. >> so congressman this might concern some. would you see this as a setup for more u.s. involvement in the arab world? >> i think there's two additional factors here to keep in mind. number one, i think's been well stated, do we have broad international support? that's not just a matter of feeling better because we have broader international support. the ability of the mission succeed depends on how broad your support base is. the broader the international community, whether it's u.n., nato, the arab league, the prodder support from the international community, the more able you are to succeed in the mission and ultimately
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that's the goal. we don't want to start 0 drodro bombs on syria if it doesn't accomplish a clear goal. the second thing people haven't talked as much about is, even if you have broad international community support, you still may have a very difficult military mission to accomplish. i think in libya we had a clear situation. gadhafi's forces were rolling into the major cities. we had the military might to stop that. there was a clearly achievable military objective. we've seen in the past in lebanon and somalia situations where there was broad international support but there was no easy way for the military to achieve an objective. so all of those factors are in play. one situation is never exactly the same as the other. just because we went into libya doesn't mean we'd have to go into syria. the president and all others will have to weigh the tafactor to see if it makes sense. >> congressman, wu were talking about the arab league support. obviously part of that is winning the hearts and minds of those in the arab world. we had some disturbing pictures
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you're very aware of, surfacing showing american kill teams where soldiers are targeting afghan citizens. how tough do you think this might make future goals going forward in the military convict flikts as we watch them? >> let me just one quick point on that point on libya. i think that's what people are forgetting on libya. what would have happened after the u.s., after the u.n. voted, nato wanted to do this, if the u.s. said, no, we don't want anything to do with this, and gadhafi had gone in and slaughtered those tens of thousands of civilians? that would have clearly under ts mined our national security interests in a very broadway because it would have undermined our credibility in the muslim world and in the broader world as well. we have to keep that factor in mind. in regard to the specific photos, i heard some of your commentary earlier. i thi it's spot-on. in this case, these photos merely are laying out what we already had happened, what the u.s. military acted on. the soldiers who are accused of these crimes are already being tried. one has already been pled guilty and been sentenced. so it's not something we are ignoring. it's not like in the case of abu
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ghraib where this was news to the world and people weren't sure how the u.s. was going to react. we already stepped up for those photos. i think in that sense that will mitigate the damage done by them. >> congressman, thanks for stopping by. >> thanks for the chance. given the president's already full plate on both the necessary tick and international fronts, many credis case of too too soon. even now, questions and concerns linger about why he waited to so long to explain our role in this nflict. for more perspective, i want to bring in douglas brinkley. doug, thanks for joining us. i want to start with this. you know, the speech that we're waiting for tonight, is this speech the one the president should have been giving before we started being involved in the no-fly zone? >> well, perhaps. but i think things were in flux. it wasn't easy to get nato to
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seize control of the situation in libya. that took some time. we had to get the united nations' act together. i think the president appropriately is doing the speech tonight from washington, from the national defense university, meaning you'll have a lot of military brass there. this is obama as commander in chief tonight, not somebody who is going to talking health care and jobs. specifically, he needs to define what our mission is in libya. what's at stake there, why are we in now a third engagement in the middle east, adding libya to afghanistan and iraq? and he's going to have to talk a lot about the humanitarian aspects of this and the fact that massacres of civilians could have occurred if the obama administration with our nato allies didn't act quickly like they did. >> so, douglas, it's not only what you say but when you say it? the word "war" is one that some have tap-danced around. is that why there was no speech to start with here, based on the precede precedt, message it may ve sent out to those listening?
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>> well, yes. and remember one of the things the president was trying to do is make clear that -- he'll make clear tonight also -- we're not sending troops to libya, that this is an international action, that this has now been turned over to nato and that he's going to have to confront the criticism, why are we there? he could say, let's say we didn't go. you would have had tens of thousands of civilians massacred in libya so there's the humanitarian reason. but also you would have had a refugee crisis of people from libya escaping gadhafi pouring into egypt and making egypt an unstable situation, which could affect the whole world economy. >> douglass, had the president made a speech, an address before we entered into the conflict, may that have given too much importance for what was happening forward based on their strategy? >> yeah. i think it took time as i'm suggesting, alliances are difficult. it's not just nato has one -- you know, we had the french factor considered in addition to the nato allies, then the
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germans had a different view of this than the norwegians. so it took a while to kind of organize this. remember, when george herbert walker bush in 1990, we had the gulf war, he had about six months built up until we had desert storm, trying to get nato allies and u.n. friends into the action together. so one could argue obama's been relatively quick in getting this limit war going and then turning it over to nato. >> doug brinkley, thank you so much for stopping by. >> thank you. now, msnbc will have live coverage of president obama's address to the nation tonight at 7:30 p.m. eastern time. we've also got a little clock on the lower left-hand side of your screen as we watch the countdown to that address. there's no question that being asked to speak at a college or university commencement is an honor. but for some of the speakers, it also comes with a bit of a price tag. most colleges don't publicize what their graduation speakers are paid, but given how many
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campuses are facing budget cuts that affect both faculty and students, some might question whether forking over thousands of questions for a prestigious ges guest is a reasonable endeavor. we have the editor of the chronicle of higher ed kaigs, he joins me today. jeff, thanks for stopping by. in some of the details we're looking at here, this isn't something you hear colleges trumpeting in terms of the price tag for these commencement speakers. you know, toni morrison just had a headline in an article, very respected, she's getting $30,000 to speak at rutgers. that's like the first time in 240 years. that's a lot of money here. >> true. and the vast majority of graduation speakers at college commencements are not paid. but when colleges want to attract a big-name speaker and they don't have an a connection, not an alum or know somebody who knows somebody to get the
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speaker, they end up paying. the going right is $40,000, $50,000, dependencing on the speaker. >> does that vary between private and public, private perhaps able to spend more mon because they have different or less scrutiny? >> there's definitely different a place like rutgers, a public university in new jersey, a lot more difficult to hide the fact they're paying toni morrison. >> let's look at some of those who have spoken in the past, bill cosby and bill clinton, very popular. cosby has done like 37 commencement speeches. we can't count the number of degrees he's got. he often waives that fee. the former president has done about 30. so, you know, does he do the same thing or would his proceeds go to charity, for the president? >> most former presidents and even people like bill cosby, some of them will waive the fee, especially if they're getting an honorary degree. many colleges give out an honorary degree. many colleges still have to pay, though, travel, first class
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travel usually in most cases. they're still putting out some sort of money even nair not paying the speaker. >> let's keep behind the factory doors if we can. i want to understand how they go about finding these high-price speakers. what happens when you want to get bill gates or the former president to speak? >> well, basically, again, you're going to start with people you know. you're going to start with alums or you might start with people on your board of trustees who know some of these high-powered players. if they don't know any of them, they'll go typically to a speakers bureau. most of these speeshgs are represented by agents who will act on their behalf to negotiate some sort of deal in terms of getting that person to speak at graduati graduation. those case are when you pay $40,000, $50,000 to get the speaker. >> jeff, ten seconds here, have you heard about who's been asked so far, big names, big numbers here? >> most of the big names this year are the typical ones, former presidents, bill clinton,
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george bush, michael bloomberg also very popular. >> he needs money. >> most of those people are not getting paid. charlie sheen, though, also being wanted by some college students these days. >> oh, keep the cameras on charlie if he does it, no doubt. jeff, thanks a lot. very intriguing. religion is falling in nine countries. the reason here? it's cool to follow the pack. but follow the pack to where? ooh, a brainteaser. how can expedia now save me even more on my hotel? well, hotels know they can't fill every room every day. like this one. and this one. and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these:
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welcome back. there's a new study that suggests religion may be an endangered phenomenon headed for extinction. in nine countries, the number of people who consider themselves religious is on decline. this is according to new
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research published by cornell university. the study tracked people over ten years using census data. as you can see, in the czech republic, 60% of people say they have no religious affiliation. richard wiener is an ajungt professor at the university of arizona and is a co-author of this study that we are talking about today. professor, you're saying this is a trend, it could get worse. >> well, yes. my collaborator, professor daniel abrams, and his graduate student haley yapel and myself have been looking at nonreligious affiliations in these countries, looking at censuses data and data that stretches back over the last century or more, and what we're seeing in all of these countries is rapid growth in religious nonaffiliation. and we've been trying to mathematically model this process, and we've based our model on two big effects from research and social conformity. one is that people tend to
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switch to groups as they have more members and so as a group grows it becomes more and more attracti attractive. and the second effect is people switch to groups that they perceive have higher social utility, which could encompass factors like spiritual or moral agreement but also political, economic and social benefits. and what our mathematical model says is there's really a couple of possibilities. one is this rapid growth of religious nonaffiliation could level off and the group of people identify themselves as not being affiliated with a religion cocoa exist stably with those who do identify as belonging to a religion, but another possibility is that it's headed towards almost everyone in these sew sites become nonaffiliated with religion. >> that's interesting, professor. does this differ between religions? let's say christian versus muslims? >> we only looked at these societies where we examined people who aren't affiliated with any religion and people who belong to any religion.
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so we were really concentrated, without looking at a particular religion, what's happening to all the people who say that they don't belong to a religion. >> okay. just yes or no, whether or not you are affiliated or find interest in religion. and as we look at this, is it just simply not popular to be religious? is that what you're saying? >> well, what we're saying is that there's some amount of utility or benefit from belonging to a religion, and relative to not belonging to a religion, at least in these societies, it appears that that is less. the benefits of belonging to a religion are less. and these societies are experiencing very rapid growth. just to give you an idea of some of the countries, the netherlands, as a whole, 43% of the people in that country at the latest census data identified themselves as having no religious affiliation. and we looked at, like i say, 85 different regions in nine different countries and all of them show the same growth
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pattern which we find very surprising. british columbia and canada, our nearby neighbor, is at 42%. >> and the united states? >> we did not look at the united states because the united states doesn't have census data on religious affiliation. they don't ask that question. we were really interested in looking at apples to apples. there are independent -- there are independent surveys that indicate that religious non-affiliation is growing in the u.s., but we don't know if it's growing according to the same pattern that these other countries arexhit >>ofsoha s mh riarne pr ome. to save me a boatload of money on my mortgage, that would be awesome!
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now is tmefor "eli si." g to talk about, but of course already getting a lot of attention. all this preparation covers the normal, the abnormal and also raises some concerns about safety as well. let's start with the good for
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you. william andate have chosen a cake and it will include one of william's favorites, chocolate biscuit cake made from a family recipe. usually you have to wait to see the wedding photos or video, but there will be a recording on the web immediately after the ceremony. but british police also have to play this safe a bit. there were reports today anarchists might target the event. a scary thought when you consider all the spectators that may show up to this. when you want more information on the royal wedding aside from what we just talked about, nbc has got you covered. today we're launching our new free royal wedding app and it is going to be your place to go for all things william and kate. it will be traveling with you. that does it for me today. i'm richard lui in for thomas roberts. he'll be back tomorrow. >> who is going on itunes and spend money to watch the vows again or listen to them? >> if you go to our app, it's for free. >> itunes has it too. >> people love this. >> whatever.
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richard, thanks. president obama is preparing to address the nation tonight on why he ordered military action in libya. terrifying video shows what happened to a woman who dared speak out against gadhafi. how she begged international reporters for help and what's happened to her. sexy swimwear for your, are you ready for this, second grader? why on earth would 7-year-old girls need push-up bikinis? we have a lot to talk about on this one. and what do president obama and reality star kim kardashian have in common? it's short, sweet and to the point. more on that ahead. w to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. motrin pm.
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